It’s almost Elvis’ birthday, boys and girls, and that means it’s time for the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Sunny Pasadena. If you don’t know what press tour is, I did a long explanation once upon a time at The Star-Ledger, but the short version is that it’s 11 straight days (sometimes more, sometimes less, this time 11) of press conferences, interviews and other working press events in which the broadcast networks, cable and PBS try to promote their upcoming shows that will air in winter, spring and even early summer. It is an all-day, all-night affair that’s been dubbed “Death March with Cocktails,” and it’s going to keep me and Fienberg very, very busy over the next week-plus, particularly since there are so many shows debuting or returning during the tour.
The tour officially starts this morning, and Dan will be there to cover it all, mostly in his The Fien Print blog, and sometimes doing straight news stories (which you can find on our TV page) for more generic programming announcements. I’m not coming until midway through day two but will be writing a ton and doing plenty of interviews and such when I’m not.
One of the best shows of this mid-season, FX’s “Lights Out,” actually previewed at the summer tour, but there should still be plenty of intriguing shows and panels, including the critics getting a look at 15 minutes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” a session for AMC’s extended murder mystery “The Killing,” Oprah Winfrey introducing her new OWN network, Betty White continuing her late-career renaissance with a “Hot in Cleveland” panel, and a trip to the “Parks and Recreation” set, where I aim to ask Nick Offerman nothing but woodworking questions.
Because of the time demands of the tour, some of the regular morning-after reviewing will be a bit spottier for the duration. (I have a bunch of things I need to write today just to get ahead, for instance, which means tonight’s “Friday Night Lights” review will be brief at best.) But even with another guy to share the tour load with, there’s only so much I can do.